Review: CSI: Miami — ‘Caged’

The team tracks down another escaped prisoner, and Horatio works to protect a mixed martial artist who might be on the killer’s hit list.

Synopsis:

Frank speaks to the press about Dante Kroll, one of the prisoners who escaped from Miami West Prison last October. He encourages citizens to call the tip line if they know anything about Dante’s whereabouts. Ryan tracks down Mike Darrow, one of Dante’s associates, and demands to know where he is—Darrow can only tell Ryan the last place he saw the fugitive.

Elsewhere, Tim Garrigan pulls over on the side of the road when he sees police lights flashing behind him. The supposed cop beats Tim to death and takes a duffel bag from his front seat. A witness took a picture of the ‘cop’ who killed the man—it’s Dante Kroll. Horatio sets out to find Logan Shepherd, the man who testified to put Dante behind bars. Logan is preparing to participate in a championship fight, and his wife and Horatio suggest that he postpone the fight until Dante is caught. Logan refuses, and he says he won’t let Dante ruin his life.

The team learns from Tim’s wife that he was a security guard at the arena where the fight will take place. The duffel bag Dante stole contained his uniform, gun, badge and security pass. Logan still refuses to back out of the fight, so the team arranges themselves throughout the arena to keep an eye out for Dante. Eric and Walter find a photographer illegally trying to take pictures, but there’s no sign of their escapee.

Ryan takes Molly Sloan to an abandoned warehouse to look for evidence, and they locate blueprints from the arena. The vault is circled, and the team realizes Dante isn’t there to kill Logan—this is a heist. Eric and Horatio rush down to the vault, but Dante has already killed a guard and taken all of the money. They open fire, but Dante gets away.

In the arena, Logan gets knocked out, and Horatio realizes that it’s a diversion—the money is in the ambulance. Dante knocks out the paramedics and drives the ambulance away with Logan in the back. Logan gives him the money and asks what’s next, but Dante shoots him and walks away. Horatio and Frank approach the ambulance and find Logan alive inside. He shows them a video that Dante sent him, revealing that Logan’s wife Brooke is being held hostage. Dante forced Logan to throw the fight to get him out of the arena in exchange for Brooke’s life.

Realizing that a third person was holding the camera in the video on Logan’s phone, the team brings Mike Darrow back in for questioning. He gives up Brooke’s location, and Horatio hurries back to Dante’s warehouse hideout to meet the killer face to face. Dante raises his gun, but Horatio shoots him first. Logan feels guilty about what happened, but Horatio says he can’t carry the burden alone. He and Brooke have each other, and Horatio tells them to keep on fighting.


Analysis:

“Caged” finds the team tracking down one of the two remaining escapees from “See No Evil” at the beginning of the season. Dante Kroll was a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter before he ended up in jail, and the search for him brings the team in contact with his former fighting partner, Logan Shepherd. When “Caged” begins, Logan is preparing to defend his MMA championship title in a highly anticipated match. Horatio has a past with the young fighter—after Dante was arrested, Horatio helped push Logan in the right direction so he could make something of himself. We’ve never seen the character before, but it’s obvious that Horatio feels a connection to the young man. This makes it even more surprising when Horatio realizes that Logan seems to be working with Dante during the heist at the arena.

The fight itself drags on far too long for my taste. For fans of MMA fighting, it might be enjoyable, but watching guys beat the crap out of each other isn’t my thing. It clearly isn’t Natalia’s thing either, and she seems amused and skeptical when she asks the other CSIs if they actually like watching these fights. Just thinking about the part where Natalia gets sprayed in the face with bodily fluids (either sweat or saliva, I can’t tell which) makes me cringe. That’s definitely not sanitary.

I don’t understand why Logan keeps the phone calls from Dante a secret. If he trusts Horatio, why not tell the CSI that Dante contacted him several times over the past week about a ‘job’ he was planning? Brooke isn’t kidnapped until after the investigation begins, so it’s not like he has to keep the calls secret in order to keep his wife alive. Cooperating with the police might have helped them track Dante down before he could set his plan in motion, and three innocent men might not be dead.

Dirt from Tim Garrigan’s hair is found to contain Lewisite, which is a chemical weapon from WWII. In the episode, Lewisite is visually represented by a yellow powder mixed with dirt—in reality, “Dew of Death” is a liquid at normal temperatures. Either way, the chemical sounds like a very dangerous substance. Similar to mustard gas, Lewisite causes lung irritation and acts as a blister agent. I’m not a chemistry expert, but it seems like hydrolysis (the reaction of a chemical with water) would probably break down any Lewisite that is mixed in with the soil over time, producing different (but still dangerous) compounds. For that reason, there might not even be any Lewisite present in the soil after so many years—and if the chemical could still be found in its pure form, it would make sense for Ryan and Molly Sloan to take precautions to prevent the possibility of accidental exposure. Instead, the pair seems completely unconcerned when they head to the Lewisite-tainted warehouse to look for evidence.

I shouldn’t be surprised that a random lab tech in Miami can carry a gun in the field, but at least Molly doesn’t fire it. Once she and Ryan have confirmed that the warehouse is empty, Molly uses a mixture of water and glycerin to spray a faded blueprint Dante left behind. The mixture enhances the metal particles from the faded ink so they show up under infrared light, and the process reveals that it’s a blueprint of the arena where the MMA championship fight is taking place. If nothing else, the scene makes for a pleasant change from the usual lab processing montage.

Frank gets a nice scene this week when he speaks to Tim Garrigan’s wife, Rose. He’s on the phone trying to find out the victim’s name when Rose walks up and says she wants to report her husband missing. Frank doesn’t give her his full attention at first, but once he finishes his phone call, he offers to help her file a missing person report. As soon as she tells Frank that Tim Garrigan is her husband, his demeanor changes completely. The look on his face speaks volumes, and he tries to find the right way to break the news that Tim is dead. There is no right way, of course, but Rose immediately senses the truth. Frank places a hand on her shoulder and tells her that he’s sorry, making for a brief but powerful moment between them. Rex Linn is great at humor and sarcasm, but he’s also wonderful in more subtle, emotional scenes like this.

Tech wizard Dave Benton is MIA in “Caged”, giving Frank the opportunity to use the fancy computer in the lab. When he’s enlarging windows and shifting them around the screen, I can’t help but think back to season three’s “Killer Date” and chuckle. Six years ago, Frank was hunting and pecking on his keyboard to run a search for the CSIs, and now he’s using the lab’s futuristic computer like a pro. Times have certainly changed for everybody’s favorite snarky detective.


See also: “Caged” episode guide

Rachel Trongo

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Rachel Trongo

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